Novartis's corporate venturing unit leads the round for the diagnostic imaging company which was set up by UCLA faculty in 2007.

Swiss-based healthcare company Novartis’ corporate venturing unit led a $12.5m round on Monday for Imaginab, a diagnostic imaging company set up by UCLA faculty.

Novartis Venture Funds was joined in the oversubscribed series A round by Merieux Developpement the healthcare investment company of Institut Merieux, a French industrial holding company, and venture investors Nextech Invest and Cycad Group as well as existing seed investor Momentum Biosciences, which is formed by faculty at US university UCLA.

Imaginab’s technology re-engineers antibodies into smaller proteins suitable for diagnostic imaging. It is working with more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies to develop imaging agents to accompany therapeutic antibody drugs – with a focus on types of prostate and pancreatic cancer. Imaginab was founded in 2007 by UCLA Faculty, Robert Reiter, Anna Wu and Christian Behrenbruch. Behrenbruch, Imaginab’s chief executive was a managing partner of Momentum from 2007 to 2009.

Campbell Murray, managing director of…

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